Category: Random


CIENCE Hires Eric Quanstrom As New CMO

Written by: Brian Anderson

Eric Quanstrom cienceCIENCE, a data sciences company offering managed services and software for lead generation, announced it has hired Eric Quanstrom as the company’s new CMO.

Quanstrom will be tasked with guiding global marketing activities, including oversight of inbound and outbound marketing, demand generation, partner marketing, web presence, social media, corporate communications and customer success.

“The company’s strength—obsessive focus on customers—attracted me to CIENCE,” Quanstrom said in a statement. “My goal is to build the preeminent modern revenue organization, through customer-centric programs. We’re solving for such an important need in every partner company we work with—to fill sales pipelines with qualified opportunities, thus introducing targeted, scalable growth.”

Prior to joining CIENCE, Quanstrom was the CMO of KiteDesk, Pipeliner CRM and Nimble. He also held senior-level positions at companies such as Sorenson Media, SightSpeed and DocuComp.


Study: 56% Of B2B Decision Makers Gain No Value From Thought Leadership Content

Written by: Matt Halchak, Contributing Writer

edelman linkedin studyDespite the known potential of thought leadership content in B2B campaigns, many decision-makers are disappointed with the quality of available thought leadership insights, according to new research from Edelman, the global marketing firm, and LinkedIn. More than half (56%) of respondents agreed that they do not gain valuable insights from the thought leadership content they consume.

The How Thought Leadership Impacts B2B Demand Generation study, which surveyed more than 1,300 business decision makers and executives, aimed to understand how thought leadership influences the behaviors of decision makers in the B2B purchase process. 

The study determined that:

  • Eighty-six percent of thought leadership consumed is considered merely good, mediocre or poor in quality;
  • Forty-five percent of business decision makers and 53% of C-suite executives reported that they sometimes lost respect and admiration for organizations that produced thought leadership content that was not high quality, insightful or relevant; and
  • Thirty percent of business decision makers and 35% of C-suite executives removed companies from consideration after engaging with what they viewed as poor thought leadership content.

What Do B2B Buyers Want In Their Thought-Leadership Content?

Decision makers want thought leadership that is timely, relevant and substantive, according to the study. More than three-quarters of decision makers (78%) and 79% of C-suite executives noted that successful thought leadership content provided insights on specific trends and challenges within their respective industries.

Thought leaders should aim to identify the drivers of relevant issues and propose a plan in a concise, easily consumable form. Seventy-one percent of decision-makers and 67% of C-suite executives preferred content in short form, three to four-page documents that can be easily absorbed.

 “Earning the trust of customers is vital in the B2B buying process, where investments are large and the professional reputations of decision-makers may be at stake,” said Joe Kingsbury, U.S. Managing Director of B2B at Edelman, in a statement. “The study points to a reality many marketers have struggled to quantify: the ability to demonstrate valuable insights about trends and customer challenges is critical for engaging with senior executives and can lead to tangible, positive business outcomes.”


BrandMaker Launches Customer Engagement Cloud For Tailored Content

Written by: Klaudia Tirico

BrandMaker’s Customer Engagement Cloud is a combination of marketing software, methodology and best practices designed to maximize the effectiveness of lead generation/marketing communications efforts by aligning prospects with the right content, at the right time to create qualified leads.

FEATURES/FUNCTIONALITY

The Customer Engagement Cloud enables marketers to understand and analyze how prospects are reacting to marketing content, and tailors content to each audience and channel based on their needs and progress in the customer journey.

Marketing receives personalized lead reports detailing prospects’ engagement with sales and marketing material, which includes critical information such as:

  • Time spent on individual content;
  • Details on who content is shared with;
  • Customer profiles; and
  • Additional content recommendations.

TARGETED USERS

BrandMaker serves senior marketing and sales decision makers that are typically faced with long and complex marketing sales cycles in key industries, including enterprise software, manufacturing, professional and financial services, as well as pharmaceutical.

COMPATIBILITY

Providing standard APIs, BrandMaker solutions integrate with any kind of adjacent and relevant solution, be it ERP or financial systems, sales systems, marketing automation or business intelligence/analytical systems. The solution also integrates with all relevant online services and platforms to enable social communications, KPI and data tracking and aggregation, as well as report such data into follow-up systems such as data warehouse solutions.

DELIVERY/PRICING MODELS

The Customer Engagement Cloud is a SaaS solution and is priced based on the number of users.

CURRENT CLIENTS/USERS

Companies such as HSH Nordbank have successfully adopted BrandMaker’s Customer Engagement Cloud.

COMPETITIVE POSITIONING

Unlike traditional marketing solution providers, BrandMaker effectively aligns marketing and sales. The solution is designed to improve the connection between marketing operations and lead management. 

CONTACT INFO

BrandMaker Inc.
5185 Peachtree Parkway, Suite 280
Peachtree Corners, GA 30092, USA
1-678-735-7363


Salesforce Introduces Sales Cloud Partner Relationship Management App

Written by: Terry Moffatt, Contributing Editor

1salesforceNBSalesforce, a global leader in CRM, has introduced a new partner relationship management (PRM) app. Sales Cloud Partner Relationship Management, an amalgamation of new and existing Salesforce technologies, is designed to allow companies to build modern, branded partner communities, the company said.

A new guided setup wizard will enable channel managers to easily configure, customize and deploy the app. Using the interactive wizard, channel managers will be able to seamlessly configure lead distribution, deal registration, marketing development funds and AppExchange Components, such as Xactly for compensation management and NetExam for a learning management system.

Additionally, channel managers will be able to automatically assign partners into tiers and provide targeted promotions and customized content based on those tiers.

Customized Partner Experiences

Lightning CMS Connect will allow channel managers to create a customized, branded partner experience. Channel managers will be able to drag and drop existing website content, graphics and videos ensuring partner portals stay as up-to-date as a company’s website.

The company’s Einstein Content Recommendations feature will use machine learning to surface files that enable channel reps to be more productive. For example, if a partner views a new product description document, Einstein will recommend files, including logo graphics, product placement instructions and pricing documentation for that new product.

Channel Marketing Automation will extend the power of Marketing Cloud to every partner, enabling them to build, track and analyze email campaigns to deliver 1:1 customer journeys on any device. Companies will be able to ensure partners are using the right messaging and collateral as they implement their own marketing initiatives.

Mike Micucci, GM and SVP, Salesforce Products, commented that Sales Cloud PRM fills the need of many companies. It is “a turnkey app that enables them to extend the world’s best CRM to their partners,” he said.

Sales Cloud PRM is generally available now with the Partner Community Cloud License. The new Guided Setup Wizard, Einstein Content Recommendations and Channel Marketing Automation are expected to be generally available in the second half of 2017. Lightning CMS Connect will be in beta in June 2017.


Mintigo Raises $10 Million For Global Growth

Written by: Klaudia Tirico

Mintigo, an AI platform for marketing and sales, has raised $10 million in funding from Glilot Capital Partners to accelerate global growth. Sequoia Capital IL, Adams Street Partners, Giza Venture Capital, Maverick Ventures and Vintage Investment Partners also participated in the round.

The company’s AI- and predictive analytics-powered technology is designed to help B2B organizations identify prospects that are most likely to buy, and provides insights to marketing and sales teams on how to intelligently engage with them. The company’s B2B database collects more than 3,000 data points on more than 50 million companies. Current clients include Oracle, Getty Images and CA Technologies.

“Our new partnership with Glilot Capital Partners will help us accelerate our growth and widen our penetration into the enterprise market,” says Jacob Shama, CEO and co-founder of Mintigo.  “We’ve seen amazing results in the past year and we’ll use this investment to move our business forward full throttle.”


Act-On Software, Evergage Announce Tech Partnership For Omnichannel Personalization

Written by: Klaudia Tirico

ActOn evergage NBAct-On Software, an integrated marketing automation platform, announced it has partnered with real-time personalization platform Evergage to extend Evergage’s personalization functionalities to Act-On’s Adaptive Journeys capabilities.

The partnership enables B2B marketers to use engagement data to personalize and adapt customers’ web and mobile app experiences. Both the Act-On and Evergage technologies will work together to predict and deliver the right message, at the right time, across channels such as email, web and mobile.

The integration also supports:

  • Real-time email content personalization: Using Act-On’s email campaigns and automated programs that use behavioral insights from Evergage, marketers can design personalized content and deploy it via Act-On email templates, according to the company.
  • Email click-through triggers for website personalization: This capability positions marketers to deliver personalized web experiences that adapt to every visitor or account based on email engagement.

“As B2B marketers seek to more effectively reach their audiences, it’s important to deliver unique and cohesive experiences across channels,” said Andy Zimmerman, CMO of Evergage, in a statement. “Our partnership with Act-On helps digital marketers meet these goals—improving demand generation and the overall customer experience. With our combined technologies, marketers can build more complete profiles of their visitors, maximize the results of email campaigns, and deliver website experiences that are maximally relevant at the individual and account level.”


Is ABM A Fad?

Written by: Jon Miller, Engagio

1millerAt a recent industry event, the above question was posed by marketers and industry observers, who wondered out loud where the account-based marketing train was actually headed. It’s certainly a question worth pondering, especially as the marketing-tech world has become awash with buzz-worthy new technologies promising all manner of sales, revenue and AI-powered Nirvana.

There’s no doubt that ABM has been overhyped. The vendor community has glommed onto the term in the hopes of marketing their wares. And, to be blunt, there are companies assuming the ABM mantle that have no business doing so. That level of ABM hype is unsustainable and ultimately detrimental to the marketers who are looking for proven solutions to solve very real business challenges.

All of that said, hype is a fact of life in emerging technology. Just because ABM has attracted its share of buzz does not mean it’s a fad. ABM has grown so rapidly because A) companies had a strong need to improve their targeting, engagement and conversion of high value prospects, and B) new technology emerged which enabled all that while doing something really revolutionary: orchestrating human connections at scale.

There is nothing faddish about developing a measurably better and more productive way to engage and convert your best customers and prospects. ABM delivers on that promise every day.

As I have said since before launching Engagio just over two years ago, ABM is akin to “fishing with spears.” By contrast, the first big martech innovation—marketing automation—was analogous to “fishing with nets.” These are two very different, but complementary, types of marketing that meet very different needs. Using “nets” works well when you are targeting prospects with lower Average Contract Values (ACVs), such as those that are less than $20K.

When you are pursuing larger fish—and especially enterprise “whales”—“spears” are the right tools for the hunt. Of course, there are also some companies for which a “hybrid” fishing approach is the best way to go—using both nets and spears. At my own company, Engagio, we use marketing automation as well as our signature ABM solutions.

Ten years ago, there was a hodgepodge of tools that helped marketers scale their net fishing. Then, marketing automation integrated those tools into the platform that became a must-have for modern marketers. Fast forward to today and we are seeing the emergence of new platforms that are bringing together similarly disparate tools and point solutions to help marketers pursue their high value accounts—the biggest fish—with spears.

These new “marketing orchestration” platforms are very different than their marketing automation cousins. Why? Because fishing with spears requires marketers to orchestrate human connections at scale, in addition to orchestrating account-based data, various systems and operations, and data-driven insights. To do all of that, and generate true account-based engagement (which is the Holy Grail of the spear-wielding ABM marketer), you need a marketing orchestration platform.

I believe marketing orchestration is the engine that is driving the rapidly growing era of Account-Based Everything. Marketing orchestration is very different from the last few martech cycles that included trends such as content management and predictive, which was just another way of doing lead scoring. A marketing orchestration platform represents a fundamentally different technology designed to empower marketers to engage, measure and convert accounts at scale. I believe it is a sea change in marketing, not a temporary phenomenon.

Marketers have a reputation for loving what is new and trendy. But, ABM driven by a powerful marketing orchestration platform, is not one of those fleeting fads.  It is a proven, highly scalable way to use the sharpest and strongest “spears” to land the biggest, most profitable whales. I’d call that a marketing revolution worth joining.


 

Jon Miller is CEO and Founder of Engagio. Previously, Jon was the VP Marketing and Co-Founder of Marketo. He is a speaker and writer about marketing best practices, and is the author of multiple Definitive Guides, including Marketing Automation, Engaging Email Marketing, and Marketing Metrics & Analytics. 


EverString And Bombora Combine AI And Intent Data Through Partnership

Written by: Matthew Halchak

1partnership

EverString, a provider of AI-assisted sales and marketing software, has partnered with B2B intent data company Bombora to speed up prospecting for sales and marketing teams.

Through the partnership, EverString aims to combine its self-service AI with Bombora’s proprietary intent data to identify companies rising within EverString’s Audience Platform. The partnership enables EverString users to discover other companies that actively research their products and services.

The EverString Audience Platform will give companies access to:

  • Search capabilities to identify high-fit prospects;
  • Sales and account intelligence, contacts and firmographic data; and
  • Data optimized through a combination of machine learning and distributed human intelligence.

“EverString’s partnership with Bombora gives B2B sales and marketing professionals access to valuable intent data directly within EverString Audience Platform,” said J.J. Kardwell, CEO and Co-founder of EverString, in a statement. “With integrated Bombora Surge Data, users are now able to identify companies that are the best fit for their products and services, and which are most likely to engage.”


When Not To Challenge Your Customer

Written by: Tim Riesterer, Corporate Visions

1riesterer1The call for B2B marketers and salespeople to always be challenging and disrupting the customer is a great piece of advice when you’re trying to acquire new business. But it’s actually very bad advice when you’re trying to keep your customers and convince them to pay more. In fact, disrupting your customer during a renewal or price increase discussion is exactly the wrong approach—one that could drive a great customer right into the arms of your competition.

Recently, my company conducted research exploring the pitfalls of applying a provocative message to renewal conversations, or the “why stay” discussion. Since then, we turned our attention to a related discussion that marketers, salespeople and account teams need to handle well: price increases.

Ongoing investments in servicing accounts and improving solutions all end up in the same spot: a post-purchase price increase conversation. The question is, how do you tell this story in a way that drives more revenue without jeopardizing existing customer relationships?

My company, Corporate Visions, collaborated with Dr. Nick Lee, a professor at the Warwick Business School in the U.K., on academic research to answer that very question—and determine the best messaging framework for what I call the “why pay” conversation.

The “Why Pay” Study

For the study, we recruited 503 participants to take part in an online experiment that simulated a renewal and price increase selling scenario. Participants were told they ran a small business and that a two-year contract with a vendor they’d hired to promote their health and wellness plan (and retain employees) was coming to an end, and it was now time to discuss a renewal and price increase.

We tested six different approaches. All the test conditions started by documenting business results to date and all requested the same 4% price increase for the next two-year agreement. Participants were divided into six different groups and placed into different experimental conditions. The range of conditions included a message that introduced a new insight designed to challenge a customer’s current perspective and situation. Other conditions offered certain types of price anchors and discounts (all landing at the same 4%). Another sought to reinforce the status quo bias—an approach our past research revealed to be effective in a renewal context.

The Results 

The experiment revealed that the “challenging” provocation-based message that introduced an unconsidered need was the least effective in terms of framing a price increase—by a statistically significant margin.

Participants in the provocative condition were found to have:

  • 18.8% less favorable attitudes toward the message.

 In addition, participants in the provocation-based message were:

  • 15.5% less likely to renew with their current vendor; and
  • 16.3% more likely to switch to another vendor.

But the study didn’t just reveal what doesn’t work for the “why pay” story; it also shows what does. Specifically, the winning message, according to the study, is one that:

  • Reinforces the status quo bias while introducing key, new capabilities to solve existing needs—not introduce new needs, and;
  • Anchor high with the price increase request, before giving a loyalty discount if the buyer purchases within an advantageous timeframe.

The best performing messages in the study suggest that your message should open by documenting results to date before reinforcing status quo bias, introducing new capabilities and anchoring a high price increase before providing a loyalty discount.

You can view the full research in our new report on communicating price increases.

The big takeaway from this study? The disruptive message so popular today may work wonders when you’re trying to win net new customers. But beware: When you’re trying to convince customers to stay or pay more, that message will set you back in a big way—potentially making your customers susceptible to inroads from the competition.


 

Tim Riesterer is Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer of Corporate Visions, a marketing and sales messaging, tools and training company. He is responsible for leading the strategic direction of the company in thought leadership, positioning and product development.


45 Marketing & Demand Gen Execs Named ABM Superheroes

Written by: Klaudia Tirico

For the second year, account-based marketing (ABM) software provider Terminus has released its list of top ABM practitioners.

The Top 45 ABM Superheroes for 2017 features C-level executives putting theory into practice at their organizations. The practitioners also exemplify the following seven ABM “superpowers” formulated by Terminus:

  1. Assemble ABM Avengers—the ability to develop sales and marketing alignment.
  2. Gain ABM Clairvoyance—have clearly defined goals for activities and campaigns.
  3. Build the ABM “Bat Cave”—the ability to select the right technologies to scale ABM.
  4. Use Account X-Ray Vision—being laser-focused on best-fit accounts.
  5. Show Results of ABM Steel—the ability to measure the right KPIs vs. vanity metrics such as MQLs.
  6. Spin Your ABM Web—selecting multiple channels and crafting creative messaging.
  7. Up, Up, & Away with ABM—executing ABM campaigns to help sales take off.

“ABM adoption has skyrocketed since we named our first list of Superheroes in 2016,” said Sangram Vajre, Co-Founder and CMO of Terminus, in a statement. “Our 2017 ABM Superheroes are proving the value of an account-based approach to sales and marketing alignment, and the impact ABM has for growing revenue.”

Some of the individuals that earned the title of ABM Superheroes include:

  • Joe Chernov, VP of Marketing, InsightSquared
  • Julia Stead, Sr. Director, Demand Generation, Invoca
  • Bassem Hamdy, EVP Marketing and Enterprise Strategy, Procore
  • Michael Walsh, Director, Digital Marketing, Rosetta Stone
  • Kristen Wendel, Director Marketing Operations, VersionOne
  • Avi Bhatnagar, Director, Digital Marketing & Strategy, WhiteHat Security